My Sister’s Bones (Nuala Ellwood)

31429525Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her younger sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first Kate tells herself it’s just a nightmare. But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she’s not imagining it. What secret is lurking in the old family home? And is she strong enough to uncover it…and make it out alive?

My Sister’s Bones was definitely not what I was expecting. Maybe it’s because I don’t remember reading the blurb when I got the book, but I thought this would be more of a classic domestic thriller. Instead, I found myself reading a novel about a woman suffering from PTSD and an old house that hides more than one dark secret. A very unique story, no doubt.

Nuala Ellwood’s writing was beautiful and she’s clearly an amazing author with a promising future ahead. However, I feel the need to warn future readers: you need to be patient with this story. The “action” only takes part in the last few pages, so it’s not a fast-paced book by any means. While I was reading I often wondered where the story would go and what it was exactly about.

There aren’t many characters in this book, so the mystery can’t be that surprising in terms of who’s guilty and who isn’t, but I believe the story was well-developed and took its time to present its characters and their motivations.

On the other hand, I had some issues with the last part of the book, as I thought it was a bit excessive. I had a similar feeling when reading My Girl by Jack Jordan (although I think My Sister’s Bones is a much better book). I love twists, you know I do. But that doesn’t mean I will love every one of them and the last few chapters of this book simply felt too crazy in my opinion. I don’t want to say too much, but there were just too many secrets and twisted events happening at the same time. I didn’t connect as much as I would’ve liked with the characters either.

In the end, I think this was a very interesting book, not your typical psychological thriller but something way deeper. I might’ve not enjoyed the conclusion as much as I would’ve liked, but I still feel this is worth a read, especially if you’re curious about PTSD and family issues. I particularly loved reading about two different points of view.

Similar recommendations:
My Girl (Jack Jordan)
Don’t You Cry (Mary Kubica)

Other reviews:
The Belgian Reviewer
The Suspense Is Thrilling Me
The Book Review Café
My Chestnut Reading Tree

Penguin Books, 2016 – Copy from publisher

Buy Here

22 thoughts on “My Sister’s Bones (Nuala Ellwood)

  1. Keeper of Pages says:

    I’ve seen glowing reviews for this one so it’s been added to the TBR but I find 3 star reviews so interesting to read, like you’re arguing for and against in one review lol. I’m so intrigued by this book, I must get to it soon.


  2. The Quiet Knitter says:

    Very interesting review, I’ve seen so many reviews of this so it’s refreshing to see someone pointing out the where it works & doesn’t. I’ve got a copy of this in my TBR will be interesting to see what I make of it


  3. Diana says:

    I am not so sure about this book mainly due to the pace and the fact that you compared it to My Girl(I didn’t like the final chapters) . However, it does have some interesting themes and I am glad that you enjoyed it 🙂


  4. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    Your review has me curious. I like to save psychological thrillers for really great ones. It seems like this might not be quite it.


  5. Donna says:

    Now I feel better! I had only read raving reviews and I was wondering if someone would point out some things they did not like! 😀 Thank you! I love the cover, but something is preventing me from getting the book. I don’t know, sometimes you look at a book and you just don’t feel anything.


    • Annie says:

      Hahaha I know, I felt a bit bad…. I liked this, I really did, but some of it didn’t click.I know, some books are being reviewed by everyone and I’m just not interested


  6. Anne says:

    Ooh, a slightly spooky book and a mystery? 😀 I don’t know if I’d be able to wait for the action to start at the last couple of pages, though. Especially when it’s 400 of them! Love your review and keepin’ it real! 🙂


  7. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom says:

    “I found myself reading a novel about a woman suffering from PTSD and an old house that hides more than one dark secret. A very unique story, no doubt.”

    I was so excited after I read this bit! The premise sounds soooooo good, however after reading the rest of the review it sounds like it came up short. I am not one for books that are slow for the majority, then it’s a race to the finish in the last few pages 😕


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